We know that insurance is important. It protects us financially if things go wrong. For a relatively small premium, individuals could end up receiving thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of pounds if they are successful in making a claim. In the UK around £44m was paid out every single day in private motor and property claims and £365m paid out in travel insurance claims. These stats tell a story that should not be ignored.
Insurance is a vital safety net. Whether you’re protecting a large portfolio of properties or a small array of home contents, your insurance policy is there to provide peace of mind. The insurance industry is perhaps more well known for buildings and contents or life insurance, but there are an innumerable amount of covers out there designed to protect you.
In our digital world, there are new risks to be aware of and new ways to protect ourselves. These are to combat the recent and modern threats which pose a risk to our daily lives. As the insurance industry modernises and develops, customers are also able to enjoy the most efficient and convenient ways to arrange cover. This includes live chats, digital customer portals and more.
Welcome to the world of insurance in the digital age! We explore its facets and how both brokers and customers can use this new era to their advantage.
Digital addiction is growing… but are employers liable?
Phone addiction, social media addiction and internet addiction are all on the rise. Many of us are overusing our phones and social media accounts to the point where it’s having a negative impact.
Some people turn to their phones for comfort during particularly anxious days. Others find the lines between the virtual world and reality are becoming increasingly blurred. But how is this impacting us in the workplace?
It’s easy to see how employees could become easily distracted by technology, thus having a detrimental impact on their output. Yes, blocking Facebook and making employees keep their phones out of sight could on the surface control the issue – but this could lead to a rise in anxiety. The best way to support employees is to raise awareness of the problem:
- Run digital detox challenges and ask employees to take a quiz to become more aware of their own reliance on technology.
- Offer self help tips and support networks, giving individuals the opportunity to identify triggers that make them more reliant on technology.
- Employers who are really struggling may benefit from cognitive-behavioural therapy or counselling. If this is included in your Employee Assistance Programme, make sure employees are aware.
The World Health Organisation has added gaming disorder into the International Classification of Diseases. This is the inability to stop playing or thinking about video games or video game related topics. This is worrying as it could indicate that other digital-related obsessions and addictions will become classed as illnesses. Internet Addiction Disorder is becoming a more common term too; symptoms including depression, anxiety and a difficulty prioritising tasks.
Every employer wants the best for their team. Anxious, stressed staff simply won’t perform their best while at work. They’ll have trouble completing tasks and concentrating, and this will have a detrimental impact on your business. Don’t make outright accusations about an employee’s behaviour. Handle the situation as you would an employee who exhibits behaviour associated with alcohol or drug addiction. Monitor their behaviour, performance at work and any issues.
Simply banning phones and unauthorised internet use won’t solve the problem, but you can place reasonable limits on the use of technology in the workplace. Potential problems may only start to occur if an employee claims they are being discriminated against due to their addiction.
A future scenario for you: If an employee checks their phone at least every ten minutes, they may claim their internet addiction is causing them to feel anxious. Unless they check their phone to quell this anxiety, they will be unable to concentrate. The constant interaction with their phone is causing a problem, and the employee is let go. The employee could claim that they are being unfairly discriminated against due to their addiction, instead of receiving the necessary support they need.
This scenario is highly unlikely, as having an addiction should not absolve you of responsibility to carry out your work duties effectively. However, in the future, employers may be required to show they have followed all appropriate policies and procedures in order to defend potential claims. This includes taking digital addiction seriously and engaging in conversation with the employee regarding what restrictions, support or accommodations may be required.
Employers must be aware that Employers’ Liability cover won’t protect you against discrimination claims (including discrimination claims related to digital addiction). Either invest in an Employment Practices Liability policy or up your risk management controls to avoid employees making potential claims against you.
Insurance for influencers
You accidentally post a photograph on Instagram that’s taken by a photographer that didn’t give you permission to share it. Or you forget to include #ad on a sponsored post. Perhaps you post an inaccurate comment on social media about your competitor.
Our new digital world comes with a myriad of potential problems. And the litigious society we live in only makes matters worse.
It’s all very well thinking before you post, but often individuals will slip up without knowing they’ve done anything wrong at all. Influencers and public figures don’t have legal knowledge, so complex matters such as intellectual property infringement won’t be at the forefront of their mind when they share information online (even though it perhaps ought to be).
Incidents might also occur where an individual takes unauthorised control of your social media accounts, which could cause a business or brand an incredible amount of financial and reputational damage.
Business leaders are often public figures, or work with influencers to promote the brand. Ensure detailed guidelines and policies are provided. Reduce the likelihood of a mistake or error by providing training, too, which details the consequences of posting certain material online.
If someone makes a claim against you for an act of digital negligence, the financial impact could be catastrophic. Think about defence costs or compensation payments, let alone long-lasting reputational impact or business disruption.
Influencer and Public Figure Insurance cover can offer the peace of mind an individual needs. It’s suitable for any influencer, celebrity or public figure. Though you should always follow best practice and do everything you can to be legally compliant when posting online, human error does happen from time to time. This type of insurance policy will cover your costs should someone make a claim against you.
The rise of cyber attacks
As we rely more and more on technology, the chances of us falling foul to a cyber attack grow evermore prevalent.
We utilise hundreds of passwords across dozens of devices. We use guest Wi-Fi passwords and purchase things online. But this is a drop in the ocean compared to how a business operates, particularly one that stores sensitive and financial information.
Our Cyber Crime whitepaper will tell you all you need to know about the difference between a cyber attack, and cyber crime. But to sum it up: any type of cyber attack could harm your business’s reputation and finances. Whether an employee slips up and clicks a malicious link, or a hacker steals data from your system, you could be left footing a bill for thousands.
Cyber attacks aren’t going anywhere, so it’s time to up your security game. Make sure you have installed all the best Antivirus and malware software. Train your staff to be vigilant and diligent. Don’t ‘just click’ and don’t let mistakes happen when they can be easily mitigated.
Businesses should also consider Cyber Insurance an essential now, rather than an optional add on. This type of insurance will cover you financially if your business is subject to an attack. It’ll pay out for any direct loss of funds, business disruption losses, ransom negotiation and other related costs.
Make sure you have a thorough cyber strategy in place to protect your business. Do all you can to prevent an issue arising – but be prepared for an attack happening, too.
The way we manage insurance is changing
Long gone are the days when insurance was all arranged via telephone calls and policies sent out by post. Now we have live chat facilities, automated chatbots and customer portals.
Customers expect ease and efficiency when arranging their insurance policies. In the age of instant gratification, customers don’t want to spend ages rifling through physical files or hunting through email folders. One example is how telematics has completely changed car insurance, allowing customers to see all the deals available to them all at once and in one place. Being able to create a profile and log into a personal portal is ideal and almost always expected online. After building a profile, customers are able to see their policy wording, renewal dates and key contacts simultaneously.
The same instant service is expected when communicating with insurers or brokers. For more complex or personal issues, customers may prefer a telephone conversation or face to face meeting. However most of the time, queries can be answered quickly via email, live chat or even social media. Customers choose these channels because they appreciate a fast response. Long wait times or being left on hold means the problem is elongated and potentially exaggerated. Making a minor adjustment to a policy or renewing should be simple, and it’s up to insurers and brokers to make this process seamless.
Making claims convenient
Enabling customers to arrange or update an insurance policy online or through an app is great. You might win a customer that way, but you probably won’t retain them.
The true test of a broker is when you need to make a claim. The process is stressful in its very nature and incredibly complex. Expert brokers are needed to help to navigate through the claims process.
The Romero Claims App makes it easy for customers to make a claim quickly. There’s no need to take time, searching around, finding the right telephone number or policy. Customers just have to fill out a few simple details and we’ll take care of the rest.
We’re seeing more and more businesses make a digital shift. Customers expect instant help and immediate responses – and technology such as apps can make this happen.
Don’t ignore generational differences
Sweeping stereotypes and generalisations aren’t helpful. But understanding key generational differences based on lifestyle and cultural changes will help all businesses to gain deeper knowledge of their consumers.
Those aged between 18 and 38 have exponential spending power and, as this grows, so does their insurance needs. It’s imperative insurers and brokers reach young adults. Stats suggest that 31% of young adults in the UK don’t have car, homeowners or tenants insurance.
The best way to do this is to make the insurance process easy. Despite many young adults preferring face to face interaction, they also require real-time customer experience. That means mobile app access, instant quotes and easy access to the information they need.
Finding your next customer online
The rise of modern technology is also changing the way we search for and find services. Word of mouth continues to reign supreme – but is word of mouth becoming digital too? Online reviews, social media posts and digital ads all contribute to a business’s digital portfolio. More than ever, consumers are researching and choosing an insurance provider based on the information they read online.
The industry is responding and adapting to this. Businesses are actively asking for online reviews, making more effort to boost their social profile and employing marketing techniques to boost their search ranking.
Mobile-first web design, increased SEO efforts and paid search strategies will help businesses to appeal to the younger generation. With most millennials and Gen Z individuals searching online as their first port of call, insurers and brokers must fight to appear at the top of the queue.
Could this mean the industry is about to get more competitive? Potentially, but it will also become more creative and innovative as businesses compete for online attention. Exciting campaigns and marketing strategies will become more necessary and appealing and loyal customers start to look elsewhere.
Don’t lose the personal touch
Just because consumers want digital accessibility doesn’t mean they trust robots. We’re all becoming desensitised to advertisements, and savvy about OTT marketing campaigns. That’s why it’s important to be authentic in all business communications.
Tell the story of your business and its heritage. Show the people behind your business. Give customers the opportunity to connect with you, and show you truly care. Humanise your brand by demonstrating your values and business purpose. Your customers will appreciate it.
Here at Romero, our family-focussed values and business heritage is no secret. We’re transparent about where we’ve come from, and where we’re going. Our blog is filled with articles about the people who make our business, and we regularly share our success stories on social media. Deliver genuine, authentic people-focussed marketing to get your customers invested.
Start from the inside out, adapt the workforce
It’s helpful if businesses have a diverse workforce. This helps to ensure ideas are varied and interesting. Yet the average age of those working in insurance is 39 – and this figure seems to be rising.
Businesses in the professional services industry must work harder to attract new, vibrant and enthusiastic talent. These bright minds will come forward with new ideas, and help to develop technologies and digital strategies that will help customers.
Attracting people to work in the financial sector can be a challenge, but the rewards and career progression can be exceptional for the right individual. At Romero, we focus on growth and education, which is why we are hiring 10 new graduates to start their career with us. We hope this will be mutually beneficial – enriching their lives and careers but also enriching our workforce and office environment.
The working environment does not need to be stuffy, formal and not conducive to creativity. Prioritise making the office a great place to be, where people look forward to coming to work and brainstorming new ideas. Businesses can utilise technology to boost their employee engagement and productivity. Tools such as TINYpulse allow businesses to run valuable insight surveys, finding out what they can do to improve the workplace. Online learning resources and a company intranet are great ways businesses can interact and connect with their people digitally.
Utilising the very best technologies and tools in the workplace is a great way to boost employee morale and help staff members perform to the best of their abilities, thus increasing motivation and engagement. Ultimately, a happy employee is more likely to stay within the business and far more likely to do their best while at work.
Do you want to get digital?
We’re not saying every business should take a leaf out of our book, but we are saying that it’s worth keeping an open mind.
Trends in the insurance industry certainly seem to suggest that brokers and insurers are prioritising digital developments. This includes online quote forms, apps and live chat facilities. The aim? To make our customers’ lives easier.
We all want to lead a stress-free, comfortable lifestyle. We want to work with businesses we trust, get the best deals and be in safe hands should the worst-case scenario hit us. It’s the responsibility of businesses to help provide this.
For more information on cyber insurance and cyber crime defence mechanisms, see our Romero Cyber Insurance section.